A love affair

Valley Gardens

Every time we come back to England, I realise how much it is, quite simply, ‘home’.  Our house  is rented out, we have few personal effects here, but still I routinely and unconsciously speak of it as ‘home’, and Laroque as ‘back in France’.  So you don’t have to be a genius to work out where my heart really is. My daughters, grown-up, mature, independent, make no secret of the fact that they’d prefer us to be around more.  It’s difficult not to agree.

England itself works its way under my skin every time I return.   We’re staying in a friend’s house on the Valley Gardens in Harrogate.  Daily walks in the park, easy access to the Stray, and the busy neighbourhood shops of Cold Bath Road have put a much more positive spin on the town than when we lived in our house in the suburbs.  Yesterday we spent walking near Grassington, along the River Wharfe, where baby ducklings and a heron held our delighted attention.  But the landscape of windswept green hills, drystone walls, sheep with their lambs, and late in the afternoon, the bluebell woods, captivated us as only ‘God’s Own County’ can.

A walk round Grassington


I’m happy in Laroque, very happy:  and I don’t want to leave.  Not yet.

8 thoughts on “A love affair”

  1. I know just how you feel, Margaret. Although we are settling in here and enjoying the sunshine and wide forests, Yorkshire has a hold on my heart and probably always will. It’s more ambivalent than your feelings, I think, because the USA is home. But, for me after so many years, Yorkshire is as well. Enjoy Harrogate for me. I find it amusing that you think of our houses as being in the suburbs. I always thought of myself as living in town! Oh, and if you find yourself near Knaresborough of a morning, go down to the Marigold cafe and have a bacon butty and an earl grey tea for me and watch the ducklings on the Nidd. I may cry.


    1. Ah, yes, Knaresborough. Love that too. Yes, your love of Yorkshire must be a tough call. No quick Ryanair weekends over the channel for you. But I’ve always admired your enthusiasm and ability to enjoy the best of wherever you find yourself.


  2. I understand the difficulty being pulled in both directions. I myself find it harder and harder not living in the Uk but I don’t want to lose my Ariege, what are we to do!!


  3. As an expat Yorkshire woman living in East Sussex, usually, and Aigues-Vives some of the time I can honestly say that much as I love my native county and enjoy visiting I do not miss the late spring, the cold and the impossibility of growing figs. Our figs here in E Sx are bigger, sweeter and earlier than our figs in France.


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